The Baltic sea seen from the Harakka island.

Vuosaari channel and harbour basin deepening is under way

A project to deepen the channel of the Vuosaari Harbour of the Port of Helsinki and the Vuosaari Harbour basin was started in June 2020. The project will be implemented over two open-water seasons, when work on the channel will be carried out 24 hours. The new, deeper channel will be commissioned at the end of 2021.

The Vuosaari channel and harbour basin project is carried out jointly by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Port of Helsinki Ltd and the City of Helsinki.

The project will improve conditions for container transport in particular and boost the Vuosaari Harbour’s competitiveness. The channel deepening will enable the port to nearly double the cargo carrying capacity of many cargo vessels, which will bring considerable savings in transport costs and diminish the environmental impacts of shipping.

The project will increase the navigable depth of the Vuosaari channel and harbour basin from 11 metres to 13 metres. The total volume to be dredged will be about one million cubic metres. In addition, underwater rock excavation will produce about 0.8 million cubic metres of rock material. The dredged material unsuitable for reuse will be transported to the Vuosaari sea deposit area in the open sea. The rock material produced by underwater rock excavation will be transported by barges to the Hernesaari area, to be used as landfill for a new housing area to be built in Hernesaari. The transport of material usable for construction by sea rather than through roads and streets will bring considerable savings to new area development in the city and reduce the environmental impact of transport.

The project has received the permits in compliance with the Water Act, which are required for implementation. The project’s environmental impacts are monitored closely with the help of water areas and fisheries monitoring programmes approved by the authorities. Adverse impacts caused by the project during implementation will be offset through property and professional fishing compensations.

The channel and harbour remain open for shipping as normal during project implementation

During the project, work will be conducted both on the Vuosaari channel and in the harbour basin. Work was started in the harbour basin in June and will move on with dredging and excavation on the Vuosaari channel. Work is carried out by several units. The channel and the harbour basin remain in normal use for shipping during project implementation. Sailors and boaters can monitor the movement of units with the help of a map service to be found on the project’s webpages. Parallel to the Vuosaari project, the City of Helsinki conducts dredging on the eastern side of Hernesaari.

Read more about the project online:
The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s webpage on the Vuosaari channel and harbour basin project (in Finnish)

Photo: Margit Jensen